Plasminogen receptors and their role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory, autoimmune and malignant disease


  • A. GODIER,

    1. Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care, Groupe Hospitalier Cochin Hôtel-Dieu, Université Paris Descartes
    2. INSERM UMR S765, Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France
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  • B. J. HUNT

    1. Thrombosis & Haemostasis, Kings College
    2. Director of the Haemostasis Research Unit, Departments of Thrombosis & Haemophilia, Lupus and Pathology, Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
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Beverley J. Hunt, Thrombosis & Haemophilia Centre, St Thomas’ Hospital, London, SE1 7EH, UK.
Tel.: +44 2071882736; fax: +44 2071882117.


Summary.  Plasminogen is the proenzyme of plasmin, the key protease of the fibrinolytic system, but its role is not limited to fibrinolysis regulation. Plasminogen binds not only to fibrin, but also to different receptors on cell surfaces, including the heterotetrameric complex Annexin A2-S100A10, enolase-1, histone H2B and the plasminogen receptor Plg-RKT. These receptors localize plasmin generation to the cell surface and provide a broad spectrum of reactions including proteolytic activity, cell migration and recruitment as well as signaling pathway activation. These plasminogen-binding proteins are involved in both physiologic and pathologic processes such as inflammation, thrombosis and cancer. Thus, plasminogen is at the center of a complex tightly controlled and regulated system where plasminogen-binding proteins have a crucial role, suggesting new therapeutic and diagnostic strategies. This review will discuss currently available information on plasminogen receptors, particularly their mechanisms of action and their roles in inflammatory, autoimmune and malignant disease.